New Zealand designer Emma Hayes creates her beautiful textiles with signature dreeeeeamy washes of colour... Thanks to the organic nature of the designs and the way each piece is cut or printed, no two products are the same. When you own an Emma Hayes piece, you know you don't have something mass produced, but one of a limited edition run, the product of a very considered and hand-touched process.
Emma's latest product is also my personal fave - her two (soon to be three) styles of wallpaper.
Emma's watercolour brushstrokes form the River collection of bed linen, silk throws, cushions and prints.
The sweetest dreams...
So, Emma - what was the journey to creating your own design business?
I studied graphic design, and have worked in design and advertising agencies in the UK and New Zealand. During my time in London, I completed courses at Central St Martins, while also running a small boutique t-shirt label.
On returning to NZ, I became more involved in designing textiles and prints for the fashion industry.
I had been thinking about getting into textiles for the home for a while, and after finding a lack of pieces I wanted to buy for my own home, it seemed like a natural progression.
Was there a point in your life when you took a big risk to move forward?
I left a job that I loved but was not going to take me where I wanted to go long term! At the time I did question if I had made the right choice, but looking back I'm thankful for that decision. It has opened up many more opportunities and pathways.
These photos by Richard Symons for The Department Store (stockists of Emma Hayes' products)
Tidal and River Wallpapers. Yes please.
Who are your creative heroes?
I'm not sure about heroes, but I admire anyone who has got their own thing up and running. Locally, there are lots of people who are building successful sustainable creative businesses…and I think David Moreland and Jamie McLellan are two local designers who produce great work. Arch MacDonnell at Inhouse Design is also an inspiring and amazing Creative Director who I have had the pleasure to work with over the years.
What are you looking forward to?
These photos (below) give some insight into our new collection, with the bed linen pieces out later this year, I'm really looking forward to having it all finished. It's always great seeing final shots of the pieces come together, and to be photographed in context.
Fancy gets a first look at Emma's brand new Undertow collection - LOVE that wallpaper!
With all that you have experienced and learned, what advice would you give your younger self? Just do it. It doesn't have to be perfect before it gets out there. The important thing is to get it done so you can learn from the doing.
What do you love to do in your spare time?
Spare time is scarce! We have just moved into a new house, so at the moment everything has been about getting the place organised and feeling like home.
What's on your personal wishlist?
There's an awful lot on the wish list… As a treat, I'm hoping to head along to The French Kitchen soon - the private dining space at The French Cafe where Simon Wright cooks in an open kitchen for an intimate number of guests. I'd love to own a (NZ artist) Kirstin Carlin painting. I really love the colours she uses and her honesty with paint.
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Buy online at emmahayes.co.nz